Xbox Series X VR headset breaks cover to ambush PS VR 2

In a surprising U-turn, it looks like the Xbox Series X might offer support for a VR headset after all

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Microsoft)

While Microsoft has its own mixed reality AR headset with the HoloLens and more recent HoloLens 2, it nipped any ideas about a VR headset for its Xbox Series X console in the bud, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer stating unequivocally that "nobody’s asking for VR". But that was a couple of years ago, and it looks like opinions about what gamers want might be changing, with support for VR headsets apparently being considered.

Microsoft released its new wireless headset this week, retailing for $99 / £95 / $AU150, and it's going down well with gamers; but the setup process has revealed a surprise, with a reference to a VR headset popping up, along with prompts to update the hardware.    

The message was spotted by IGN Italia and you can take a look at it in the tweet below. Once writer Giovanni Marrelli plugged in their new headphones, the system asked them to update their VR headset. Marrelli reports that this is more than just an error, adding that the following screen also makes reference to updating a VR headset, offering the option to initiate the update.  

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It would be a massive U-turn if Microsoft has decided to develop a VR headset to go up against the PS VR 2, which was officially announced last month alongside six new PlayStation VR games. Ever since the Kinect, which waged a motion control war with PlayStation Move, the Xbox has abandoned such peripherals, but if the company sees a renewed interest in the product, there's no reason why it would ignore the demand just to stick by something Spencer said in an interview two years ago. 

More recently, Spencer shocked gamers with the news that the Microsoft Zenimax acquisition will mean that there will be some exclusive Bethesda titles for Xbox Series X after all, that won't come to other platforms like the PS5 and Nintendo Switch. This didn't go down well with everyone, but does show that Microsoft is ready to pivot to embrace opportunities for the Xbox brand that will help bolster the platform. 

Whether it's developing its own VR headset, offering support for third-party hardware, or planning something with the rumored refreshed HoloLens, we don't know, but it seems like it has something up its sleeve, and Sony should be worried.

In the meantime, of you're still struggling to get hold of the next-gen console, you can follow T3's Xbox Series X stock tracker for updates on Xbox Series X restocks. If Sony's system takes your fancy, we have a PS5 stock tracker as well.    

Shabana Arif
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.